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Cunard White Star Line RMS ‘Queen Mary’, c-1936, repurposed Art Deco light fixtures

by Jonathan Quayle |

Recently Pursers Locker uncovered a large haul of built in light fixtures from the famous Cunard White Star Line, RMS ‘Queen Mary’ the majority dated to when the ship entered service back in 1936. Most had been ‘built in’ fixtures which do not easily lend themselves easily in to future use within the modern home. We thought about this and came up with the idea of converting them and repurposing them for everyday use, into modern day lamps, whilst retaining as much of the original fabric of the piece as possible.

One example was one from the ships 3rd class smoking room light fixture by GEC, c-1936. The fixture was very complete with original milk glass and solid nickel bronze, cooper and modern contemporary maple burr case. Repurposed for modern day use as a table or desk lamp.

Removed from the ship in 1967 during the conversion, sold off as surplus in the late 1970’s.

I have been lucky enough to buy two large collections of light fixtures over the last five years, the majority I am keeping and reusing and re fitting into my own home, this is one that I have chosen to sell in part to fund the restoration of the others. It is a very rare opportunity to own an actual public room light fixture from the ship, I can't say I have seen many light fixtures from the ship, especially from a public room, as the majority are thankfully still onboard.

Manufactured by 'G.E.C.' heavily stamped and cast into the door of the lamp, the firm produced countless light fixtures all over the ship and is heavily mentioned within the 1936 shipbuilder listing thier work on this room.

These lamps were originally installed in the rooms pilasters and built into the rooms fine wood paneling.

To re use this lamp I had a skilled craftsman create a maple burr case for the original fitting to sit within, the fixture is totally original to 1936, as built. It remained in place throughout her service life from 1936 until 1967. Even the bulbs are original to the ship, osram lamps, which were the ships standard lightbulbs, one of these still amazingly works!


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